It’s survival of the fittest, but first you have to fit in.
Shae is sure the icy rage that claws at her is driving away her friends and pulling her closer to the wrong boy. After all, it’s Aiden she has always secretly wanted, not Callum, who has barely spoken to her in the last year.
But, as her protected life unravels, she discovers the violent supernatural world that lurks in her quiet hometown and the ancient feuds that threaten to destroy both her friends and her family.
To save those she loves, Shae must succumb to her own fury and take on the Ravensgaard, the renegade warriors of the Order, but as the battle approaches her deepest fears are coming true, she’s becoming just like them. Shae's not sure she can afford the price she'll have to pay—her own humanity.
Sanctuary is a teen paranormal romance for fans of shifters and Gothic romance. Fans of Flightless Bird and White Raven will be enchanted by this strong female seeking truth in a world of secrets and mystery.
Zan’s hands press into her cheeks as she turns to me. “Listen to me, Shae,” she says with a level of earnestness I haven’t seen since she tried to convince me not to bungee jump out of the Sanctuary and into the canyon when we were 13. “I’m being blunt to save you heartache. You are not his type.”
“So, now you know more about him than I do?” The answer ‘yes’ gnaws at my gut.
“You are beautiful, clever, and sweet. Really, really sweet.”
“Rich.” I say it because I know she doesn’t want to.
“He’s not just rich,” she sighs. “He’s filthy rich, old money, European stock wealthy. I’ve been to his other ancestral home in Holland. It’s… he -”
“He’s in a different league,” I murmur and my skin burns in shame as if I’m a peasant trying my hand at the prince.
“Yeah,” she sighs. “He’s in a different league.” Her hand covers mine. I want so bad to pull away, maybe even slap her, but I don’t. I can’t lose her again. Besides, she spoke the truth. He lives in a six-hundred-year-old manor that was brought here brick by brick from Holland over a hundred years ago. A manor I’ve never even been invited to. He wears designer clothes I don’t even understand and spends all his holidays in Europe. He’s so out of my league.
But, then, why did he look at me like that at Callum’s party?
Now that she understands the rules, she wants to change them.
Shae’s body is betraying her and she's terrified. Though she's joined the ranks of her shifter friends, she knows inside she’s not like them. Her unstable cells won’t let her control the shift.
As Topanga grows crowded with suspicious shifters, aligned with the fascist Order, it becomes clear they have been living in a tiny haven on the edge of an intolerant, militant shifter society. Even worse, Shae's formal presentation to El Oso, the Order's Berserker Supreme Leader, is only days away. Without full control of her powers or her body, she's not sure she'll survive the inspection.
As Shae discovers the dreadful truth about her family heritage, she's faced with a severe choice: break with the Order and lose her friends or submit to a life of subjugation and lies.
No matter what she chooses, she'll be left with only Remnants of the life she had.
“I still can’t get used to the idea that Berzerkens are real and rule the Order,” I mutter.
“Oh they’re real. And they’re sense of smell is intense. Our best bet is to try to keep them out of Topanga completely,” Zan says.
Or else they’ll smell me. The nuvervel. The shifter that can shift into a dove and a raven. I have got to master my shifting and prove myself Ravensgaard.
My blood calls out to them.
I want to battle, fly, soar and drive my claws into their faces.
If I could just get the shifting under control.
Zan presses her hand against my shoulder. “It’s going to be okay.”
Aiden pats my shoulder, but he doesn’t have any solutions. They’re all trying their best to hide me in plain sight, but it’s starting to get difficult.
“We’ll figure something out,” Zan says. “We always do.”
I cringe. We managed by the skin of our teeth to resolve Murtagh’s Revolt that almost got us all killed, but I don’t know how that’s going to work now. I haven’t told them about the pain that comes every night. I haven’t dared. If they knew about the shooting spasms that run through my body, they’d totally freak out.
In the shifter world, one law holds true; you will reap what you sow.
Shae underestimated El Oso, the tyrannical leader of the Order. Now, banished, flightless and living on the dangerous edge of the shifter world, she finds it impossible to pursue her one goal, finding and freeing her father. Without the support of her friends, who are torn by loyalty to their families, Shae is forced to attempt the impossible...alone.
A hidden group of shifters with unexpected powers swoops in to help Shae. They want nothing more than to discover El Oso’s magic and destroy the Order completely, even if it means sacrificing Shae’s father. Too late, Shae discovers she has sown the seeds of destruction for herself and her family. The defenses of her refuge are breached, not by El Oso, but by the enemy very enemy he has been desperate to protect them against. An enemy intent on massacring every known shifter. Shae must find a way to escape her self-inflicted fate and empower her friends to unite if they are to find a way to survive the harvest.
“They’re shifters?” I hiss at Zan as Henry runs forward and starts going through every single wooden gun they have in the stall.
Zan nods. “Quail clan.” She positions herself with her back to the stall, eyeing her aunt and uncle warily. “You shouldn’t have been talking to them.”
“Now you tell me,” I say. “How can I figure stuff out if you don’t tell me things?”
Even from here I can see Jacqueline is getting more and more angry, and it looks like Aunt Emma is giving her a lecture. I’ve seen Aunt Emma deliver some of those lectures to Cooper and Uncle Steve, and even, on occasion, shorter versions to us. But it seems like she’s got a lot to say to Jacqueline.
Jacqueline’s hands are at her sides, her fingers outstretched, and it looks almost as if heat is radiating off her.
“Can I get this one?” Henry runs up to me waving a wooden rifle. But as I reach for the price tag, the earth begins to quake and everything moves around us. Henry falls towards me as the ground shakes under our feet.
“Earthquake!” Somebody shouts.
I grab the folding table, to stabilize Henry and myself, but it buckles. We fall to the ground with the toy guns and cowboy hats tumbling around us. I’m on my knees and clutching Henry close, my teeth rattling.
Finally, the earth stops vibrating.
My gaze flies around the booths to see if anyone needs help. Most people are on the ground, clutching onto something or someone.
Everybody except Jacqueline.
She’s standing there, eyes steady and cold as she looks down at Aunt Emma, who is being helped up off the ground by Uncle Steve.
Hercules is already back on his feet and helping Evie up. He tries to reach a calming hand to Jacqueline, but she just turns and leaves the rodeo grounds. The heat is no longer radiating from her hands and the ground is no longer shaking.
I’m left with the uncanny sense that the earthquake came from her.
First comes the rain, then follows the flood.
Escaping the Order by engaging the Hunters was only the beginning. Now, with their safe haven destroyed Shae and Roman are left hiding in a remote village with no chance of ever finding her father or making a difference in the shifter world. That is, until a strange Hunter seeks Shae out and gives her hope she can find her father and possibly the tool to find El Oso.
They risk everything to return to Topanga and reunite with their friends, who are the only ones who might just believe Shae’s adamant theory that one of the murderous Hunters is actually on their side. As they test loyalty and strength they uncover the very power that has made the Hunters mortal enemies to the shifters for over a thousand years. Their new-found power is a beacon to the Order and the Hunters, who descend like a flood to drown out the spark of light rising in the shifter world.
“I’m afraid it can only be told to her,” Darko says. “But if you see her, tell her I have news of her father.”
My legs start to spring up.
News of my father!
I need to hear this. But by the time I stand up, Hercules has shut the door and is deftly pulling the blinds shut. I just glimpse Darko out on the street as Hercules locks the door.
“He knows where my father is,” I hiss.
“It’s a trap,” Hercules says sternly. “He’s a Hunter.”
“I know what he is,” I say. “He’s the guy I told to attack the Berzerken.”
“You can’t talk to him,” Hercules says, returning to the counter.
“You’re not the boss of me.” I whirl on him.
“Well, as you are a resident of the village, I am in charge,” Hercules shrugs. “And I prohibit you from speaking to him. You have no right to endanger my family and my people for the sake of finding information of one man.”
“He’s my father.” My fists clench and sparks fly near my fingertips.
“And Corrine was Jacqueline’s sister,” Hercules says. “While this Hunter is not old enough to be the one who killed her, she was definitely murdered by his people. No. We stay in here until Evie is out of school, and then we go home.”
“If you’re so worried about a Hunter being in town,” I ask. “Then how can you leave Evie at school?”.
Hercules breathes in deeply through his nose and holds the air in his chest as he looks down at me. “You require more watching than Evie. Because you are at greater risk.”
Shifter Chronicles Prelude
In the dark shifter world, they prepare for a summer of fun, but find they must battle against the Hunters who are afraid of the supernatural world. Dutch born, Matilde, the estranged niece of Lord Van Arend, barters with her scheming mother to spend the summer with the only friends she’s ever had, the Ravensgaard at Castle Brannach. But if Matilde gives her mother the information she will break her friends’ trust and begin the downfall of the regime; a regime the shifters may need to protect them from the Hunters.
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About the Author
USA Today Bestselling Author, Farm Girl, Marketing Director...
Since I was eight I have been writing stories that capture the adventures in my head and the characters strong enough and flawed enough to have them. When I look at an empty field I see a formidable citadel. When I meet a vulnerable old man, I greet an emeritus warrior. When I walk through city streets I feel dimensions hiding around every turn. It has been my lifelong passion to explore these worlds that reveal the pain of loneliness, the joy or self-actualization, and the hope of magic.
I grew up in a place called Potter Valley where the Milky Way is held aloft by a circle of mountains and the central business district consists of a bait store and a saloon. At 19 I moved alone to London and spent the next ten years exploring the world, even becoming an Australian citizen, before I returned to California and found a new home in Los Angeles. My world revolves around my two wee children and my love of travel.
My days are spent in an office overlooking Los Angeles International Airport where I work as a Director of Marketing for a data center technology firm, which wouldn’t make you think I had an MFA in film with an emphasis on writing from Chapman University. However, I also have degrees in visual communications and global communications, which allowed me to work for some of the finest technology firms in the world. In my spare time I have penned six screenplays, four stage plays, an opera libretto, numerous short stories, and five manuscripts for novels. My heart lies with my manuscripts, which are focused on YA and New Adult audiences and range in subject from Vikings in Iceland to Knights Templar in Italy to Aborigine mysticism in Australia to shapeshifters in Los Angeles.